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Publication numberUS20050099656 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/712,171
Publication dateMay 12, 2005
Filing dateNov 12, 2003
Priority dateNov 12, 2003
Also published asUS7446896
Publication number10712171, 712171, US 2005/0099656 A1, US 2005/099656 A1, US 20050099656 A1, US 20050099656A1, US 2005099656 A1, US 2005099656A1, US-A1-20050099656, US-A1-2005099656, US2005/0099656A1, US2005/099656A1, US20050099656 A1, US20050099656A1, US2005099656 A1, US2005099656A1
InventorsSarah Barrios
Original AssigneeBarrios Sarah J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for printing information on a page containing preprinted objects
US 20050099656 A1
Abstract
A method and apparatus is disclosed that can scan a page, detect the location and size of any devices or objects on the page, and then print information onto the page without printing the information onto the located devices.
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Claims(21)
1. A method comprising:
scanning a page;
locating at least one device on the page;
printing information onto the page without printing information on the at least one device.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
storing a template of the scanned page where the template contains the location and size of the at least one device.
3. A method comprising:
scanning a first page;
locating the position and size of at least one object on the first page;
aligning information to fit onto the first page without the information encroaching onto the at least one object on the first page.
4. The method of claim 3 where the information aligned is text.
5. The method of claim 3 where the information aligned is graphical.
6. The method of claim 3 further comprising:
printing the aligned information onto the first page.
7. The method of claim 3 further comprising:
printing the aligned information onto a second page, where the second page is essentially a copy of the first page.
8. The method of claim 3 further comprising:
scanning a second page to capture the information to be aligned.
9. The method of claim 3 further comprising:
receiving the information to be aligned as digital information.
10. A method comprising:
scanning a page of stationery;
locating at least one device preprinted on the stationery;
automatically formatting a string of text such that the string of text is positioned correctly for the page of stationery, with respect to the location of the at least one device.
11. The method of claim 10 where the device is a letterhead.
12. The method of claim 10 where the device is a logo.
13. The method of claim 10 further comprising:
printing the formatted string of text onto the stationery.
14. The method of claim 10 where the string of text is created in a word processing program.
15. The method of claim 10 where the string of text is read from a file.
16. A system, comprising:
a scanning device configured to generate a digital representation of a page placed onto the scanning device;
a processor configured to detect the location of at least one object in the digital representation of the page;
a printing device;
the processor configured to print information on the page in a location that does not overlap with the location of the at least one detected object in the digital representation of the page.
17. The system of claim 16 where the system is connected to the Internet with a communication link.
18. The system of claim 16 where the scanning device is integrated into the printing device.
19. A system, comprising:
a scanner configured to generate a digital representation of a page placed onto the scanner;
a computer connected to the scanner, the computer configured to detect the location of at least one object in the digital representation of the page;
a printer connected to the computer;
the computer configured to print information on the page in a location that does not overlap with the location of the at least one detected object in the digital representation of the page.
20. The system of claim 19 where the system is connected to the Internet with a communication link.
21. A device, comprising:
a means for scanning a page;
a means for detecting the size and location of objects printed on the page;
a means for aligning information to fit on the page while avoiding the detected objects;
a means for printing the aligned information onto the page.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of this invention relates to digital devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many people have a desire to print letters and documents on their personal or business stationery or letterhead (see FIG. 5). Currently they have to measure or guess the location and size of the letterhead, motifs, monograms, and any other devices or objects located on their stationery. Then they try to format the letter or document they wish to print to avoid these devices. This is typically a trial and error process where the user adjusts the formatting and then does a trial print onto the stationery or letterhead. This is time consuming and can waste the expensive stationery.

Therefore there is a need for a device that can scan a page, detect the size and location of the devices on the page, and then print the letter or document correctly formatted for the scanned page.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method and apparatus is disclosed that can scan a page, detect the location and size of any devices or objects on the page, and then print information onto the page without printing the information onto the located devices.

Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a flow chart for an example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart for second example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a computer system that could implement an example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a scanner printer combination that could implement an example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a sample page of stationery.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In one example embodiment of the current invention, a page is scanned (102). The page may contain a letterhead, motifs, monograms, logos, a border, images, or other types of devices or objects. The location and size of these devices or objects are detected (104) using page decomposition software. Page decomposition software is well known in the arts, for example see U.S. Pat. No. 5,596,655 “Method for finding and classifying scanned information” by Patricia D. Lopez, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Once the size and location of the devices on the page have been determined, information is aligned to fit onto the page without overlapping any of the detected devices (106). The aligned information may be in a textual format. The aligned information may be graphical in nature. Or the aligned information may be a combination of text and graphics. Once the information has been aligned, the information is printed onto the page (108). The page may be the same page that was scanned, or it may be a page formatted similarly to the scanned page. Optionally, the size and location of the detected devices or objects are saved to a file to create a template (216). The template can be used to align and print additional information to copies of the scanned page without having to re-scan the page each time.

In one example embodiment of the current invention, the information to be printed is retrieved from a file (212). In another example embodiment of the current invention, the information to be printed onto the page is scanned from a different page (210). If the information scanned from the different page is textual in nature, then in the preferred embodiment, the information will be converted from the scanned bitmap into text using optical character recognition (OCR) software. Once converted into text, the text will be aligned to fit onto the page. In another example embodiment of the current invention, the information to be printed is sent from a program (not shown), typically a word processing program.

FIG. 3 shows a computer system (302) with a printer (304) and a scanner (306) attached to the computer system. The scanner (306) is connected to the computer (302) with an I/O bus (308). The printer (304) is connected to the computer (302) with an I/O bus (310). I/O bus 308 and 310 may be a USB bus, a SCSI bus, a fire-wire bus, a parallel interface, or the like. In one example embodiment of the current invention, a page containing objects or devices is scanned using the scanner (306). Software running on the computer (302) may be used to control the scanner (306). Devices or objects located on the scanned page are detected. The devices or objects may be detected by the scanner (306) or they may be detected with software running on the computer (302). Once the location and size of the devices or objects have been determined, information is formatted such that the information will not encroach onto the located devices or objects when printed onto the page. The adjustment of the information may occur in the computer (302) or it may occur in the printer (304). Once the information has been aligned, the information is printed onto the page. In one example embodiment of the current invention, the user is prompted to move the scanned page from the scanner (306) to the printer (304) so that the information can be printed onto the same page that was scanned. In another example embodiment of the current invention, a second page with the same devices or objects, is used to receive the aligned information. Optionally, the size and location of the detected devices or objects may be saved on the computer (302) as a template.

In one example embodiment of the current invention, the information is retrieved from a file located on the computer (302). In another example embodiment of the current invention, the information is located in a program running on the computer (302), typically a word processing program. In another example embodiment of the current invention, a second page is scanned to capture the information contained on the page. The computer (302) may be connected to a network or the Internet with a communication link (not shown). The communication link may be a modem, a broad band connection, or the like. In another example embodiment, the information to be aligned may be downloaded from the Internet using the communication link.

FIG. 4 shows a printer (402) connected to a scanner (404) with an I/O bus (408). The printer (402) is also connected to a network, for example the Internet, (not shown) with an I/O bus (406). The connection to the network could also be attached to the scanner (404). I/O bus 406 and 408 may be a USB bus, a SCSI bus, a fire-wire bus, a parallel interface, or the like. In one example embodiment of the current invention, a page is scanned using the scanner (404). Devices or objects located on the scanned page are detected. Once the location and size of the devices or objects have been determined, information is formatted such that the information will not overlap onto the located devices or objects when printed onto the page. The adjustment of the information may occur in the scanner (404) or it may occur in the printer (402). Once the information has been aligned, the information is printed onto the page. In one example embodiment of the current invention, the user is prompted to move the scanned page from the scanner (404) to the printer (402) so that the information can be printed onto the same page that was scanned. In another example embodiment of the current invention, the aligned information is printed onto a second page with the same formatting as the scanned page. Optionally, the size and location of the detected devices or objects may be saved on the network (302) as a template. In another example embodiment of the current invention, the scanner and printer may be combined into one device, for example an all-in-one device (not shown).

The foregoing description of the present invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and other modifications and variations may be possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the appended claims be construed to include other alternative embodiments of the invention except insofar as limited by the prior art.

Classifications
U.S. Classification358/1.18, 358/1.12
International ClassificationG06K15/02, G06F17/21, G06F15/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06F17/211, G06K15/02, G06K15/021
European ClassificationG06K15/02, G06F17/21F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 4, 2012FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Nov 12, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY L.P., TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BARRIOS, SARAH JEAN;REEL/FRAME:014701/0839
Effective date: 20031111